Happy Birthday v.3

To celebrate this site’s anniversary, I shall be sharing my longest poem of all, conveniently split into fourteen separate sections.  So, stand by for two weeks of sci-fi adventure, aliens, and depression, all dedicated to the memory of the great Douglas Adams – because despite the title, the one thing I felt his books needed more of was hitch-hiking…

By the way, the accompanying pictures won’t have much to do with the poems, but will be an opportunity to showcase some of my favourite spacey art.

I should also take this moment to announce that I have finally exhausted my back catalogue, and once this upcoming mini-epic is done I have nothing else to offer.  At least, not today, but I intend to keep up a routine of writing one poem a week (at least), and will post these on Sundays.  I have plenty more to say, I just don’t know what it is yet.

But before we go on that adventure, let us take a quick side-trip with a hearty slap on my own back, even though that’s physically impossible. I decided to give this website a quick Google, to see if it has been noticed. So, ignoring the results that lead straight back here, we have RhymingCouplets.wordpress.com. Ah, it’s not me at all. It seems to be by ‘iambictrix’ and likely no longer active. But hey, it’s promoting rhymes and it’s got a cool name, so go over there and show it some love. Next up is this Russian site, where they have borrowed my drawing of a young Isaac from Newton’s Cradle. Well, I say mine, I just ran across it online, so as kind as it was for them to credit me, they could have found it in the same place that I did. Still, nice of them to mention me. Moving onto NameDog.com, it shows that my website’s name was available for hire back in 2010, and ThaiZone.com shows us why – in 2009 it was pending being deleted.

I wonder what the old domain looked like way back then. If only there were some sort of machine that could tell us…hang on…! It seems that our new friend iambictrix didn’t always have a double-barrelled website, with the ‘wordpress’ bit noticeably absent. But things get even stranger in 2016, where we can see on the 9th of March that iambictrix had let their subscription lapse 309 days prior, and then no more snapshots until 4th October, when a few pop-up that cannot now be accessed – were these more beggings for renewal or perhaps a new custodian ? I do have a vague memory of idly musing on creating a domain with this name but finding it had been taken by a dating site. Good thing I did nothing about it for a year, or I’d have to have created ConcordingAdjacents.com, which wouldn’t have been nearly as popular.

But I’ve saved the last for best – Whitmore High School has faced-down lockdown by preparing a comprehensive list of independent learning activities for Year 8 (what in my day we would call the Second Years), including on page 13 from the drama department, and just look at who they cite as one of two “resources you will need to help you” ? I am so honoured ! If Miss or Sir wishes to drop me a comment, I can thank them personally (hey, perhaps they already have, but in disguise !) But oh, those poor kids, having to deal with my various arguments with God, grammar, and gated drums. And although I don’t use many swears, I really hope the pupils found them all…

Anyway, let’s take a detour from this detour with some more naval-gazing. Even after I post my poems here, they remain works-in-progress, though I don’t realise it at the time. Whenever I revisit a poem, I may spot a rhythm in need of a massage or an orphaned rhyme in need of a lover, a stray typo here or an errant comma there – and of course the work of replacing all semi-colons with hyphens is ongoing.

However, occasionally I spot a more fundamental problem, usually along the lines of the poem not actually being very good and certainly not ready for before the watershed. My solution is often
‘more poem’, adding verses to clarify a point or add that which I had previously neglected.

Knowing how some of you like to check-in every so often and catch up on the new entries, it is likely that major revisions to old posts would go unnoticed, and so this seems an appropriate time to link to half a dozen that have undergone the greatest change, and I’ll even throw in an extra fifty-percent free !
First up, a couple whose verses are unchanged but whose post-coda ramblings have wandered afar –

The Parable of the Mustard SeedI attempt some mathematics to calculate the plant kingdom’s obesity problem.

Forty-Eight – I detail the handful of stars that Ptolemy bothered to name as he mapped the sky, while being glad they were so few.

Then there have been a couple of days when I accidentally forgot to set up a post, and did so retrospectively so that no-one would ever know of my blunder (unless I were to do something as stupid as to tell them).


The First Second-Coming – All the Virgins give birth in the Winter, it seems.

Foreword & Forewarned – If ever there were a manifesto poem for my collection, it would be this.

These three have had several verses added, since everyone knows it’s word-count that counts:

Jurassic Lark – Considering how long the dinosaurs ruled for, they’re well worth some extra.

Felis schroedingi – Half of part 3 and all of part 4 is new. More physics, true, but also more cat !

Pride & Vanity – Hogging even more limelight following extensive cosmetic restructuring and two additional verses.

And these ones have effectively been re-written from the envoy up.

Equant & Deferent – Ptolemy again, and how his model of planetary motion was almost better than Copernicus’.

Cherry-Picking
– An eight-line poem for a one-line joke gets a whole new backstory.

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